Read about Stephani Page in a recent edition of ASBMB's Research Spotlight. Highlights from the interview are included below.
Tell us about your current career position.
I am currently working on my Ph.D. in the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. I work on a family of microbial signal transduction proteins called response regulators and I focus on certain features of the proteins that influence specific aspects of their activity. I am nearing the end of my fourth year and I am making my way toward the finish line. I am looking forward to the unknown that is the rest of my career in science.
What are the key experiences and decisions you made that have helped you reach your current position?
I am very grateful for my decision to attend North Carolina A&T State University. I was accepted to larger, more well-known universities, but I chose to go to an HBCU. While working on my B.S. in Chemical Engineering and my M.S. in Biology, I began to see myself as a scientist and I found my love of bench work. A&T fostered a great deal of my growth and maturity that I am not sure would have been fostered at a majority institution. A&T is my extended family.
I decided to complete the Biophysics Summer Course at UNC (managed by the Biophysics Program at UNC and The Biophysical Society) in the summer prior to beginning my Ph.D. program. I was able to hone in on my interests while adding to my professional network. It was a great opportunity to transition to my current graduate program. The summer course completely altered my path by giving me experiences that still influence my decisions as a graduate student today. I value educational experiences that are focused on under-represented minorities.
How did you first become interested in science?
I was always into science. I love school and learning, and science was a major part of that. I had many ideas of what I wanted to be when I grew up, but as I tried my hand at different things, I seemed to gravitate toward science.